Asheville, NC – Near the close of its 20th anniversary, Highland Brewing hit a high note as it was named 2014 Small Business of the Year by Business NC magazine.
There are about 800,000 small businesses in North Carolina, according to Business NC publisher Ben Kinney. About 70 companies were nominated for the award. Other finalists were Archer Advanced Rubber Components of Winston-Salem, Tarheel Basement Systems of Winston-Salem, and Wray Ward of Charlotte. The four finalists and guests gathered at the historic Graylyn homestead in Winston Salem for the awards luncheon on December 5.
“We read Business NC. This is a great magazine – well written, engaging, good journalism. That makes this honor even more exciting,” said Leah Wong Ashburn, Vice President and daughter of Highland founder, Oscar Wong.
A panel decided among the nominees: Business NC’s Ben Kinney, NC Secretary of Commerce Sharon Decker, and Dr. Roy Archambault, President of Dry Corp in Wilmington. Dry Corp is the 2013 Small Business of the Year.
Corey Heim, COO of Dry Corp, said, “Highland Brewing is a great example of a small business that started small, has grown smart over the years, and has had a tremendous, long-lasting impact on the local and state economy."
Also happening at Highland at the turn of 2015:
• An expansion project currently underway will:
- double the brewery’s size in the existing location in East Asheville
- accommodate a new bottling line
- add a multi-level entertainment space
Some of these areas will be complete in the first quarter of 2014.
• Solar panels will be live by January 1. They will power the production side of the brewery.
• Leah Wong Ashburn will be named President January 1. Oscar Wong will remain Board Chair.
Leah Wong Ashburn
828-299-3370, ext 339